Leslie Bibb Dishes on 'GCB'

MORE sits down with actress Leslie Bibb to discuss her career and leading role in the new ABC show, 'GCB,' airing Sundays at 10 p.m. Eastern

by Susan Swimmer • Fashion Features Editor
leslie bibb image
Actress Leslie Bibb didn't expect her life to turn out this way.
Photograph: ABC/Richard Foreman

MORE: What do you learn easily?
LB: That’s a really good question. I guess I’m pretty good at learning physical stuff. I learned to dance for Zookeeper [the 2011 film in which she co-starred with Kevin James] but that was because I was so headstrong about it. I was determined to make it happen.

MORE: Are there any life lessons you learned the hard way?
LB: I really am trying to figure out how to learn the lessons without all the drama. To see the lesson in front of me and get it. When I was younger I would see something and I’d be like, “Well, that’s not a red flag, it’s a pink flag.” The big red flag was right there and I would avoid the lesson, or refuse to see it for what it was. I want to learn to deal with problems and work through them so that I can tell the difference between an oatmeal lump and a breast lump, you know?

MORE: How would you describe yourself?
LB: Ambitious. I think sometimes people think of that as a bad word, like when you meet people who are a certain kind of ambitious where they’d literally sell their mother to get ahead in the world. I’m also hardworking, and hard on myself. You know, I don’t like to disappoint anyone. When someone says they’re disappointed in me, I mean, they might as well just stab me because I think that would be less painful. Being disappointed in myself can be motivating, but it can also be very derailing. Sometimes I forget to see the forest for the trees. I forget to say, "Well, okay that wasn’t the perfect 10 I was going for but it was a solid 8.5." Sometimes you just don’t hit it out of the park. I’m learning to be more comfortable with who I am and saying, “I’m enough, even if I’m only hitting a 7 today.”

MORE: We need to talk about your new show, GCB. I saw the first episode and it is so good.
LB: I have to tell you, getting to work with these really great women has been the best, and I think the material is so smart and original.

MORE: At MORE magazine we’re all about women having a second act, and the GCB character you play, Amanda, is a great example of someone forced to reinvent herself.
LB: I think this happens a lot with women in their 30s and 40s, where they have to redefine themselves. You know, you get divorced. Your husband dies. You signed up for something in your 20s and then all of a sudden the rug gets pulled out from under you. And you have to sit there and go, “Okay, it’s sink or swim.” I love the fact that you’re catching her with her rug pulled out and she has nowhere to go and she has to figure it out. She has to go back to a place she left when she was 18 and she literally gets slapped in the face with what she was like then. So her journey is to find the balance of who she was, who she is now and who she’s going to become.

MORE: I’ve been a fan of Kristin Chenoweth for a long time, and you ladies are great together.
LB: Kristin and I really care for each other. I adore her, and I trust her. I think the sun shines out of her ass.

MORE: It sounds as if you have found yourself a very good home. Let me ask you this, what have you figured out in life?
LB: I figured out that you can’t figure it out! I figured out that any time I think I know what’s going to happen, it never happens that way. And I figured out that when I try to control everything, it’s a bigger [mess]. I figured out that it’s a lot easier not to take stuff personally. I figured out that I love being a woman. And I love being emotional and goofy and that I wouldn’t change anything that’s happened because all of it has led me to where I stand today and I like what I see and I like who I am becoming, who I am.

MORE: What do you hope for?
LB: I hope to be a better listener in life and in my work because, you know, that’s the key to acting and that’s the key to life. I hope that I can just shine, and not dim my light in order to make other people feel comfortable. I hope that I can get better at responding and not reacting.

First Published March 5, 2012

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